The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Soviet Union to the Embassy of the United States 1
In connection with the note of the Government of the United States of America of January 23, 1951,2 the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the USSR has the honor to state the following:
1. The fulfillment of the decisions of the Potsdam Agreement on the question of the demilitarization of Germany and the elimination of differences in the positions of the four powers on this question have the most important significance for the relaxation of the presently existing tension in the international situation and, without a doubt, would considerably promote the improvement of relations between the US, France, Great Britain and the USSR. However, the New York conference of the foreign ministers of the USA, France and Great Britain in September 19503 and the subsequent measures of the governments of the three powers are definitely aimed at the re-creation in West Germany of a regular German army and at that huge increase of armaments in Europe and in the US which is creating more and more alarm among the peoples who very recently experienced the shocks and calamities of the Second World War. It is precisely for this reason that the Soviet Government took upon itself on November 3 of last year the initiative in convoking the Council of Foreign Ministers for the discussion of the question of the demilitarization of Germany. Since the Government of the US, as well as the Governments [Page 1071]of France and Great Britain, likewise set forth their striving for a lasting improvement in relations between the US, France, Great Britain and the Soviet Union, and also for the elimination of the grounds for the international tension existing at the present time, the Soviet Government considers that in such a case there should not be any basis whatever for further delaying the convocation of the Council of Foreign Ministers.
2. The Soviet Government cannot ignore that which has been going on before the eyes of everyone in recent months. While the New York conference of the ministers of the three foreign powers only raised the question of the revival of the German armed forces and of the restoration of war industry in West Germany, since that time the real significance of this decision of the three powers has been revealed in many ways. It is well-known to the whole world that between the governments of the USA, France and Great Britain, on the one hand, and the Bonn Government of Adenauer, on the other hand, there have been going on for already more than a month far reaching negotiations, the dangerous purpose of which is comprehended by all peace loving peoples of Europe. In this connection there must also be noted the fact of the negotiations of General Eisenhower with the Government of the revanchist Adenauer regarding the inclusion of the restored German army in the composition of the so-called “integrated armed forces” and the appointment itself at the present time of General Eisenhower as commander-in-chief of these armed forces, a fact which does not at all tally with the official statements about striving for peace. There is nothing surprising in the fact that it is precisely in view of such a situation in West Europe that extreme militarists and revanchists are raising their heads and the Hitlerite lackeys of yesterday from among the most aggressive elements are acquiring great influence. The existing intentions to utilize the revived German armed forces as an obedient tool of a certain grouping of powers are built upon unstable ground since under the protection of the Government of revanchists like Adenauer and Schumacher, militarists, from among the Hitlerite diehard adherents, who are embittered by failures, are now in West Germany more and more strengthening their influence and direct domination; they themselves want to utilize the situation which has been created for their own aggressive goals. The circumstances that, moreover, in a number of states in Europe and in the USA the increase of the army and the armaments race have assumed unprecedented proportions, of course intensifies in many respects the tense international situation and the disquiet among the people.
There has been created a situation where the meeting of the foreign ministers, for one reason or another, is being postponed even further, and along with this the demilitarization of Germany is not only not [Page 1072]being carried out, but on the contrary, measures are being conducted for the reestablishment of a regular German army and war industry in West Germany, as well as numerous other measures which are directed towards speeding up preparations for a new war. If such a situation is continued further, then the conference of foreign ministers, obviously, will be confronted with faits accomplis. The Soviet Government has already declared its negative attitude towards such a policy of faits accomplis. It is possible that such a policy answers the desires of these or those aggressive circles, but the Soviet Government cannot but call attention to the inadmissability of the situation which has been created.
3. In its note, the Government of the US states that it considers it necessary to request a clarification on certain matters brought up in the previous note of the Soviet Government. In particular, the Government of the US inquires whether the Soviet Government agrees to discuss, in addition to the question of the demilitarization of Germany, other questions also, although the Government of the US at this time says nothing about precisely what questions are concerned.
The Soviet Government considers as possible the discussion at the session of the Council of Foreign Ministers of other questions also, having in view that these questions will be considered by the Council of Ministers in the composition and in the manner provided for by the Potsdam Agreement between the USSR, USA, Great Britain and France.
As for the remarks of the Government of the US to the effect that the Prague declaration cannot be adopted as the basis for the discussion, on this question the position of the Soviet Government already has been set forth in its note of December 30, 1950. It goes without saying that the Soviet Government is proceeding in this from the equal right of all members of the Council of Foreign Ministers to introduce for the discussion of the Council any proposals on questions which will be adopted for consideration.
4. The Government of the US in its note of January 23 raises the question of the tasks of a preliminary conference of representatives of the four powers. The position of the Soviet Government on this question was also set forth in its note of December 30, 1950. The Soviet Government considers that a preliminary meeting of representatives of the USA, France, Great Britain and the USSR should be confined to drafting an agenda, including the establishment of the order of the consideration of questions. Thus the consideration of the substance of questions included on the agenda should not enter into the tasks of the preliminary meeting.
5. The Soviet Government does not oppose the convening of a preliminary meeting of representatives of the four powers in Paris.[Page 1073]
The Soviet Government is sending analogous notes at the same time to the Governments of France and Great Britain.
- The source text is the translation of the Soviet note prepared by Embassy Moscow and transmitted in telegram 1466, February 5 (396.1/2–551).↩
- For the text of this note, see telegram 407, January 20, p. 1065, and footnote 3 thereto.↩
documentation on these meetings, see
Foreign Relations, 1950, vol. iii, pp. 1108 ff.↩
- A copy of the Russian text of this note was transmitted as an enclosure to despatch 433 from Moscow, February 8 (396.1/2–851).↩